Five-tier monitoring and review mechanism introduced for ICDS scheme
New Delhi: The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has said that the Government has introduced a 5-tier monitoring & review mechanism at different levels (National/ State/ District/ Block and Anganwadi level) in order to strengthen the performance of the ICDS. She was replying to supplementaries to a starred question on the working of Anganwadi centres in the Lok Sabha today. The Government has issued guidelines on 31.03.2011 for Constitution of Monitoring and Review Committees at different levels to review progress in implementation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, the Minister said. Composition and key roles of such committees at different levels have been defined and with a view to strengthen and make ICDS more participatory, PRIs and MPs and MLAs have been assigned representation on various committees at State, District and Block level Monitoring Committees, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi explained.
Expressing concern at the irregularities in the implementation of ICDS Scheme, the Minister said that the situation is â€˜extremely alarmingâ€™. She attributed the irregularities to the complete absence of a system of monitoring over the last 40 years of existence of ICDS.
Highlighting the problems of the ICDS and Anganwadis, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that there has been no training of Anganwadi workers/supervisors on nutrition related issued. The services of Anganwadi workers have been used for several purposes like electoral work and there are insufficient number Anganwadi centres in the country, she added. Smt Maneka Gandhi explained that out of 12.45 cr children (0-6 years) in the operational Anganwadi centres, 8.42 cr children are availing services under the ICDS. There is also no check on the quality and quantity of food distributed by anganwadi workers, a problem which her Ministry seeks to address, she explained.
Giving further details, the Minister said that the Anganwadi workers will be given tablets for real time monitoring of nutrition levels of food, and nutrition laboratories will be set up to test the quality of food being supplied under ICDS. Replying to another supplementary, the WCD Minister said that the community involvement in the system is very important for the success of the ICDS. The Scheme of Sneh Shivirs is being implemented in 200 districts in which a community approach is being followed by forming teams of mothers, Anganwadi and Asha workers etc. She also said that it has been observed that this approach has made a substantial difference to the nutrition levels of the children/pregnant mothers.
Replying to a supplementary regarding reduction in Budgetary Allocation to ICDS by 50 percent, the Minister said that she, along with the Health Minister will meet the Finance Minister soon to request for more funds. Meanwhile, she urged the State Governments to commit more funds to the Childrenâ€™s Schemes since large amount of funds have now been transferred to the states under the new scheme of allocation.